I’ve been slacky lately on posting, but Christmas is around the corner, so most of my time online has been dedicated to online shopping! But I did want to share my last class assignment. It focused on night photography & sunsets. My last post was part of it! For this project as a class we were to focus on bracketing and practice our metering. I have to say I’m feeling more comfortable about metering now than I did a few weeks ago! Though I need translate metering into my everyday photographing. I feel like I take the time to go over the steps to take a great picture when I have to do an assignment, but when I’m just “taking photos” just because, I forget…but practice makes prefect, right!
But I did learn how to take better sunset photos and who doesn’t want to learn how to take a great sunset photo! It does work better if you are in an area free from distraction, (buildings, lots of tress, etc.), and probably better in the summertime too. Since it’s nearing winter here, the sun isn’t as dramatic. Also, something else to remember, when shooting into the sun, most things will fall in silhouette (in-black). So if you want to shoot people, silhouettes can be very neat, but if you want to capture their faces, metering comes in handy!
The key is to meter for the sky at different angles, we metered at 15 degrees, 35 degrees, and 45 degrees to see how different the readings would be. Time is not on your side here either, the sun dips below the horizon very quickly now adays, so metering quickly is important. (Not sure if I discussed how to meter in the first place, but the easiest way, or the way I do it, is put your camera in Program Mode (P), and point & focus on whatever you want to take a picture of, in this case, meter the sky…now I’ve discovered not to meter directly into the sun, because then you won’t capture those beautiful, vibrant colors, instead move away from the sun a few degrees…now metering is a guide and you want to use the information it gives you, but then you should bracket. Bracketing is basically a technique of taking serveral shots of the same subject/object using different camera settings (usually different F-stops). It is useful in situations that make it difficult to get a great photo with one shot.
See how the colors change between each photo. In the first shot, the sun is blow out and even though you can see more details in the foreground and the sky it looks overexposured. In the last, even though it looks underexposured, the colors are deeper in saturation and you can see the tree branches fall into silhouette. At the end of the day, it really is personal preference, but just food for thought when wanting to capture the prefect sunset!
I’ll leave you with one more thing, my Cityscape, this was taken around 5:00pm, with a tripod (since the shutter speed was too slow to hold the camera). It was a learning experience to understand what the “magic hour” means and how to successfully shoot a cityscape at night. Here are two of my favorites: